I’ll be honest, I struggle with these words and I don’t think I’m the only one.
How do I be grateful for what I have?
And still want more?
How do I be content with the way things are?
And still push for better and bigger?
How do I live in the now?
And dream about a brighter future?
How do I continue to evolve?
And appreciate where I’m at.
I’m always nervous to boil things down too much but, it seems, at the end of the day, there are two approaches we can take:
we can pursue more to get to enough.
we can realize enough and pursue more out of that.
The first is generally the way our economy and culture functions and it wants it that way because it makes a lot of money for a lot of people: Keep getting more and someday you will have enough. There is little talk about what “enough” actually looks like because, in that model, “enough” doesn’t actually exist. There is always more to get. And enough is always in the future meaning that more never stops... more shoes, more shirts, more apps, more knowledge, more songs, more articles...
Not to get too political here, but in a capitalistic system there is never enough. Otherwise the system would crumble.
There are also some religious cultures that prefers this way of living. Religious production and consumption benefits many people in religious power. You need to do more, to get to enough and the people who are providing more and determining enough are very powerful and in control. The never-ending desire to be enough (thus attaining more) is just where they want people. Religious capitalism.
The second concept is different.
How do I pursue an awareness that I am enough?
How do you pursue an awareness that you are enough?
How do we really live in a world of enough?
Enough money, enough awards, enough prestige, enough power, enough worth, enough...
Once we have thoroughly understood enough, experienced enough, and lived enough… more appears and moves very differently. And when it does it’s usually more generosity, more joy, more patience, more color, more calm, more giving, more rest, more creativity, more diversity, more experiences, and more love.
The Jesuits call this the “magis”. The first time I heard about the “magis” I almost started crying because it was the first time I felt pursuing more was okay. Magis is Latin for “more”.
James Martin writes that “the magis means doing the more, the greater, for God. When you work, give your all, When you make plans, plan boldly. And when you dream, dream big... Ultimately, ‘eliciting great desires’ and inviting people to think big is the seed for accomplishing great things for God.”
There is a pursuit of more that is absolutely beautiful and inspiring... scientists say that Dark Energy - that thing that makes up a huge percentage of our universe that we don’t really know what it is - contains the universe and propels it forward.
Contains and propels.
We can’t propel to find containment. We have to realize we are contained and then propel as contained beings.
Mixing up our pursuit of more and our pursuit of enough can be exhausting, debilitating, and even deadly. I see it constantly. I’ve lived it.
Again, you are enough. Right now.
Get that, and then get more.
Don’t try to get more to get that.
Seek first the Kingdom of God (and its perspective on the world) and everything else will come when it should, is how, I believe, Jesus worded it.